The Knoll Nursing Home provide nursing care for adults and specialist care for the elderly and frail – proudly funded by Reliance Bank
The Knoll Nursing Home in Yeovil is a warm and inviting Victorian building within substantial grounds. The residential nursing home offers long and short-term nursing care and also day care for adults together with specialist care for the elderly frail, respite, convalescent and palliative care. All bedrooms are newly furnished and are equipped with electric beds, call bells and televisions.
Manny Ghuman – Owner of The Knoll Nursing Home commented: “Planning permission for a 7-bedroom extension started in 2018. At that time, we did our banking with a high street bank, but we didn’t have a dedicated Relationship Manager. So, I didn’t know who to contact with my business plan and request for a loan. I had been passed around a lot within that bank, so I had low satisfaction with the level of service I was receiving. Although I requested funding from that bank, I had no firm answer on whether they would lend us what we needed. I approached two other high street banks, but at the beginning of Covid they were not providing any extra lending. So, I decided to look around for a Commercial Finance broker and the one I found was called Aureum Finance.
Aureum Finance put me in touch with two lenders and one of them was Reliance Bank. So that’s when I was introduced to Morag Davies – Head of Commercial Banking for Reliance Bank. We did the valuation and Morag gave us the best offer. So that’s when the process began. The building contractor had space in their schedule to do the extension, so we started the work. The building process was good but complex and thankfully Morag answered all my queries directly, because she understands the care home sector, our occupancy aims and the building process.
Several issues meant that the building process was slightly over cost and delayed. For instance, an additional request came retrospectively from the local building control team that insisted that we add mechanical ventilation into one of the day rooms and install an external fire hydrant for the home. This created a further delay to building works being signed off and registration with CQC.
The home was also awaiting a planning decision for a further 5 beds which linked to the first-floor extension but a Natural England ruling to protect biodiversity with a requirement to acquire phosphate credits to offset the impact meant these delayed matters. The home has now found a mitigation strategy which won’t require the purchase of credits, however specific water saving devices such as shower fittings are required in bedrooms to reduce overall wastewater in the home. It is hoped planning will be in place by April 2023 with work commencing shortly after.
On increasing registration to 42 bedrooms, the home encountered a serious covid outbreak, 25 members of staff and 20 residents tested positive for Covid, so over a 6-week period we gave important health support to our residents whilst taking on extra agency staff. We incurred extra costs to comply with the rules of Public Health England as admissions to the home were also not allowed.
Manny Ghuman – Owner of The Knoll Nursing Home commented: “The loan from Reliance Bank has helped us to increase our occupancy to 42 residents so we can provide an interactive and holistic approach to care. Many residents lead full and active lives yet welcome the 24 hour a day security of a professional, personalized care environment. The Knoll believes that residents should retain as much of their independence and mobility as possible.
We tailor our activities to the personal lives and interests of our residents. We encourage residents to engage in creative arts, games and reminiscence therapy including sharing life stories and creating memory boxes. Cinema afternoons, sing-alongs and arranging visits to local places of interest keep our residents engaged as well as mentally and physically stimulated. Regular themed dining events transform conventional mealtime into an in-house dining experience where residents can dine privately or in the tranquil surroundings of the gardens during the summer months.”
Manny Ghuman – Owner of The Knoll Nursing Home commented: “Morag understood that whilst we were building on the first floor we would have a reduction in income because we couldn’t build on top of ground floor bedrooms which we had to leave unoccupied and that the impact Covid had on the home on increasing registration meant that our financials would show a loss for that period. Morag understood the long-term plan and she understood that we could make a profit once the extra bedrooms were built, and residents admitted.
It was Morag’s knowledge and experience of the building process that meant she was patient throughout the complex program of work. Morag had completed many commercial loans before, so she wasn’t fazed when we encountered delays during the building work. The main reason for choosing Reliance Bank was that we wanted support going forward and that has definitely come through with the help of Morag. We are now planning to build 5 more bedrooms for residents and have purchased the house next door to the home with the aim to create a care facility and additional car park, so we hope Reliance Bank will provide more support in the form of lending over the next 12 months.”
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